State law requires state agencies to develop models and guidance for districts to promote positive social and emotional climate.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-99. EXPECTED BEHAVIOR IN SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE SCHOOLS (4373)
Chapter 6: PROCEDURES FOR TAKING ACTION ON SUBSTANTIATED INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIORS
Section 2. Guidelines for Specific Responses to Inappropriate Behavior
Suspension: The purpose of suspension is to protect the student body, school personnel and property, the educational environment, and the orderly process of the school. Suspension is considered a temporary solution to inappropriate behavior until the problem that caused the suspension is corrected. The length of a suspension should be short, usually one to three school days, but may extend to ten school days.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-99. EXPECTED BEHAVIOR IN SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE SCHOOLS (4373)
WEST VIRGINIA MANUAL FOR EXPECTED BEHAVIOR IN SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE SCHOOLS (4373)
The West Virginia Manual for Expected Behavior in Safe and Supportive Schools provides guidance to assist all public schools to design and implement procedures to create and support positive school climate and culture improvement processes that will ensure an orderly and safe environment that is conducive to teaching and learning.
Chapter 1 STUDENT PROTECTIONS School officials are responsible for student safety, welfare, and behavior from the time a student boards the school bus or arrives at school until the student returns home or to his/her designated bus stop. It is a student's responsibility to follow school rules and regulations and to cooperate with school authorities who enforce these rules and regulations. Chapter 2 INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR AND MEANINGFUL INTERVENTIONS AND CONSEQUENCES Section 1. Addressing Inappropriate Behavior with Meaningful Interventions and Consequences The purpose of this policy is to provide schools with guidance that creates and ensures an orderly and safe environment that is conducive to teaching and learning. Inappropriate behaviors include but are not limited to harassment, intimidation, bullying, substance abuse, and/or violence. All interventions and consequences are in effect on all school property and at all school-sanctioned events, including extracurricular activities. Each county will implement proactive, preventative, and responsive programs, outline investigatory and reporting procedures, and delineate meaningful interventions and consequences in response to inappropriate behavior. This policy defines disciplinary levels and provides definitions (see Appendices) for common inappropriate student behaviors. County policies may provide additional guidance in the implementation and classification for specific offenses and/or levels provided the treatment of the inappropriate behavior is consistent with W. Va. Code.
County and school policies should identify appropriate and meaningful interventions and consequences. The interventions and consequences in this policy serve as examples, with the exception of Level 4 offenses. It is not a requirement that all schools offer every intervention and consequence listed in this policy. School administrators and staff should exhaust all available school and community resources to provide appropriate school-based intervention strategies designed to keep students in school and engaged in instruction.
Out-of-school suspension strategies should be used sparingly and shall never deny students access to instructional material and information necessary to maintain their academic progress. Out-of-school suspension should only be considered when all other interventions and consequences have not proven to correct the behavior. The determination of interventions and consequences is at the discretion of the school administrator, with input considered from teachers/service personnel. W. Va. Code requires that the principal shall suspend a student who commits a behavior classified as Level 4 in this policy. Level 3 and 4 behaviors are to be referred directly to the appropriate administrator because of the serious and/or unlawful nature of the misconduct.
Any student suspended or expelled from school is also suspended from extracurricular activities for the duration of the out-of-school suspension or expulsion.
When administering interventions and consequences, it is required to determine if a student warrants protection under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), W. Va. 126CSR16, WVBE Policy 2419, Regulations for the Education of Students with Exceptionalities (Policy 2419), and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Section 2. Inappropriate Behavior Levels: Level 1: Minimally Disruptive Behaviors disrupt the educational process and the orderly operations of the school but do not pose a direct danger to self or others. Level 2: Disruptive and Potentially Harmful Behaviors disrupt the educational process and/or pose potential harm, danger, or educational detriment to self and/or others. The behavior is committed willfully but not in a manner that is intended maliciously to cause harm or danger to self and/or others.
Level 3: Severely Disruptive, Imminently Dangerous, Illegal, and/or Aggressive Behaviors are willfully committed and are known to be illegal and/or harmful to people and/or property. (Specific level 3 behaviors are outlined in W. Va. Code § 18A-5-1a (c) and the principal shall address these inappropriate behaviors accordingly.)
Level 4 Behaviors
LEVEL 4: Safe Schools Act Behaviors are defined in W. Va. Code § 18A-5-1 and § 18A-5-1a. These laws require that the principal, county superintendent, and county board of education address Level 4 behaviors in a specific manner as outlined in W. Va. Code § 18A-5-1a and paraphrased in this chapter. Chapter 4 PROCEDURES FOR TAKING ACTION ON SUBSTANTIATED INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIORS Section 1. Interventions and Consequences of Inappropriate Behavior Inappropriate behavior should be addressed with meaningful interventions and consequences that strive to improve future behavior. School administrators and staff shall exhaust all available school and community resources to provide appropriate school-based interventions designed to keep students in school and engaged in instruction. Out-of-school suspension strategies should be used sparingly and shall never deny a student access to instructional material and information necessary to maintain academic progress. Out-of-school suspension is not a recommended consequence or intervention for Level 1 and 2 behaviors; however, the determination of interventions and consequences is at the discretion of the school administrator, with input considered from teachers/service personnel, for Levels 1, 2 and 3. Specific Level 3 behaviors mentioned in code shall be referred directly to the appropriate administrator because of the serious/unlawful nature of the misconduct. In determining the appropriate intervention and/or consequence in response to a Level 1 or 2 or 3 behavior, the principal, county superintendent, and/or local county board of education should consider:
. the surrounding circumstances; . the nature of the behavior;
. past incidents or continuing patterns of behavior; and
. the relationships between the parties involved and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred.
West Virginia Code 18-2C-3. Policy prohibiting harassment intimidation or bullying.
(a) Each county board shall establish a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying. Each county board has control over the content of its policy as long as the policy contains, at a minimum, the requirements of subdivision (b) of this section. The policy shall be adopted through a process that includes representation of parents or guardians, school employees, school volunteers, students and community members.
(b) Each county board policy shall, at a minimum, include the following components:
- (1) A statement prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying of any student on school property, a school bus, at a school bus stop or at school sponsored events;
- (2) A definition of harassment, intimidation or bullying no less inclusive than that in section two [§18-2C-2] of this article;
- (3) A procedure for reporting prohibited incidents;
- (4) A requirement that school personnel report prohibited incidents of which they are aware;
- (5) A requirement that parents or guardians of any student involved in an incident prohibited pursuant to this article be notified;
- (6) A procedure for documenting any prohibited incident that is reported;
- (7) A procedure for responding to and investigating any reported incident;
- (8) A strategy for protecting a victim from additional harassment, intimidation or bullying, and from retaliation following a report;
- (9) A disciplinary procedure for any student guilty of harassment, intimidation or bullying;
- (10) A requirement that any information relating to a reported incident is confidential, and exempt from disclosure under the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-b [§§29B-1-1 et seq.] of this code; and
- (11) A requirement that each county board shall input into the uniform integrated regional computer information system (commonly known as the West Virginia Education Information System) described in section twenty-six [§18-2-26], article two of this chapter, and compile an annual report regarding the means of harassment, intimidation or bullying that have been reported to them, and the reasons therefor, if known. The West Virginia Department of Education shall compile the information and report it annually beginning July 1, 2012, to the Legislative Oversight Committee on Education Accountability.
(c) Each county board shall adopt the policy and submit a copy to the State Superintendent of Schools by December 1, 2011.
(d) To assist county boards in developing their policies, the West Virginia Department of Education shall develop a model policy applicable to grades kindergarten through twelfth. The model policy shall be issued by September 1, 2011.
(e) Notice of the county board's policy shall appear in any student handbook, and in any county board publication that sets forth the comprehensive rules, procedures and Standard of conduct for the school.